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Richards loan sad but necessary

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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 7, 2011

Larsson happy to stay at Birmingham

Sebastian Larsson insists he is happy at Birmingham despite enduring a "difficult" January which left him doubting whether the club wanted to keep him or not.

Larsson came off the bench to set up team-mate Nikola Zigic for the winner in Sunday's crucial 1-0 win over relegation rivals West Ham.

The Swede was a regular for the midlanders in the first half of the season but has had to settle for a place on the bench recently after he came close to leaving the club during the January transfer window.

Blackburn and Newcastle had bids accepted for Larsson - whose contract expires in the summer - but he was unable to agree terms with either club, and Manchester City were also linked with the 25-year-old.

He admits that talk of him leaving the club left him unsure about his future, but is now keen to move on and do all he can to help Birmingham's push for survival.

"It has been a strange January for me, I'm not going to lie," said Larsson. "I'm going to be honest - at one stage it didn't seem at one point that the club knew what they wanted to do to me. I'm not criticising them, I'm just telling the story how it was.

"It was quite difficult from one day to an other not knowing what they wanted to do to me. "It's not an ideal situation for me but the window is closed now and I have said all along that I'm happy where I am.

"The lads are terrific here. I have always got along with the fans very well so I do my best for them There has been a lot of speculation and everyone knows my contract is running out but I just want to try to get back and focus on football."

Larsson is delighted that Nikola Zigic has finally started to silence his critics after the lanky Serbian scored his second in two games yesterday.

Despite his towering 6ft 7in frame, the Serbian had trouble adapting to the physicality of the Barclays Premier League after arriving from Valencia in a £6million deal last summer.

But the West Ham winner will only serve to boost the striker's confidence and Larsson is confident that his team-mate will go from strength to strength now.

"The criticism towards him has been a bit harsh but he has come really good for us recently," the Swede said. "He's a threat and we really know how to play with him and we are finding each other better and better.

"I think we have seen a lot better of him recently. He has really come alive for us. He has been terrific in the last couple of games and scored the winner again yesterday.

"He is really getting used to the English side of it now - the physical side of it.

"He lets us play a different type of game if we have to and he gives us a different threat, which was successful at West Ham."

Zigic was linked with a return to Racing Santander in the January transfer window but opted to stay with Birmingham.

He admits the speed of the Barclays Premier League took him by surprise but is confident that he has now learned how to adapt to the game.

"I am very happy. I scored and I understand a bit more now how the team plays and the players know how to play with me," Zigic said. "Now it's better. I think it has been coming. It is very physical, the Premier League. It's a battle. The league is very fast."

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